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More Than Words

Hifumi walked leisurely into the town, disappearing into the crowd.
Leaving the castle, Hifumi passed by an area lined with very large mansions that seemed to belong to nobles, arriving at an area lined with 2-storey and 3-storey houses, various shops, stalls and some food carts.

An enticing smell wafts from the stall grilling and selling some kind of meat and fish.

On a roadside table attached to a restaurant, some old men with pipes were discussing something.

The clothes varied, but could not be called beautiful. The clothing industry was quite possibly not too advanced, thought Hifumi.

Even though the King was incompetent, these fellows in town are quite well-built. That King was living quite extravagantly.

Taking a silver coin out of the Dark Hole, Hifumi bought some skewers from a stall. He was looked at unkindly for taking out a silver coin for skewers that cost 5 copper coins, but was presented with twice the skewers when he said the change was unnecessary.

He did not see any products on display, nothing special drawing him in. A black cloth was hanging over the entrance, and a stern faced man standing near it with folded arms.
Though there was a signboard, Hifumi could not read it.

Because he was interested, he decided to call out.

「 Aa….. what? 」

「 What kind of shop is this? 」

「 Nothing to do? Without even an introduction? 」

Finishing his speech, the man turned his eyes to the street again.

A slave, huh…

Though I intended to travel around the world first…

If he had a slave, he would be able to obtain that knowledge, and it would be convenient in the future. He had enough money, after all, he had half the contents of the castle treasury. Even if it was a somewhat high-class slave, it would be sufficient.
In case of betrayal, he would ‘deal with the problem’.

「 A gold coin, like this? 」

「 Ah? …. Yes, but one or two coins…. 」

Hifumi grabbed the man’s wrist and forced it upwards. He threw out approximately 30 gold coins from the storage into the hands of the man who was surprised at Hifumi’s strength.

「 Huh?? 」

Dumbfounded, the man quickly picked up the gold coins, his attitude did a complete 180 and urged Hifumi inside the shop.

The man disappeared into the depths of the shop, and another person came out.

Without letting Hifumi wait too long, a man dressed in subdued, yet high quality clothes received him.

Although smiling, the man appraised Hifumi on seeing him.

「 That is generous of you. This shop certainly trades in slaves. Honoured customer, shall we begin the slave purchasing? Of course, I can explain a little about this for a first-time buyer. 」

「 Well then… 」
The manager explained concisely, holding to the main points.

There are Crime slaves and Debt slaves, slaves sold for the sake of their families or villages called Realisation slaves.  For Crime slaves, all of them belong to the country and are forced to work in the mines, etc, they are generally not sold.  In general, there are only 2 kinds of slaves sold here : Debt and Realisation slaves.  Though there are people who are kidnapped and enslaved, because there is a very high penalty for handling such slaves, most merchants don’t deal in them.  The slave’s actions are limited by a tattoo imbued with special magic, it is impossible to rebel against the owner.  Though slaves don’t have rights, it is a crime to kill one without cause.

「 Is it necessary for there to be a reason? 」

「 Is there a need to prove it? 」

Seeing that the law was full of holes, Hifumi sighed.
However, it is convenient.

Shutting his eyes and thinking for a while, he asked the manager

The manager takes out a sheaf of parchment from his breast pocket, dips a quill in ink from a nearby table, and waits for the next words.

Quickly scribbling the data, the manager suddenly looked up.

「 Either one is fine. The problem is ability. 」
「 Certainly. We will prepare it, please wait for a while. 」

The manager ushers Hifumi to the interior of the shop.

「 Talk to them? 」

The room Hifumi was taken to was wide, and ten men and women lined up against the walls in handcuffs. Wearing simple, dirty tunics, they looked hesitatingly at Hifumi. What kind of person buys them, their fate is in that party’s hands.

Hifumi hardly looked old enough to be earning money. Did he even look like a merchant, noble or well-to-do young man…. Recalling his appearance, he smiled wryly, realising that was not the case.

Suddenly, among the slaves that had lined up, two women next to each other caught Hifumi’s eye.

The other was almost the same height as Hifumi, had a tempered and hard body. She had reddish eyes and brown hair.

「 You and you. Name? 」

The smaller one answered in a fading voice. The brown haired one did not answer.

「 Then, Origa, what can you do? 」

After hesitating a little, catching her breath, she continued jerkily

「 Origa! 」
To Origa’s murmur, the brunette raised her voice.

「 To be bought by such a person! A perverted noble buying us, how unpleasant… 」

「 Such a thing! Do you not understand what kind of fellow this guy is? 」 (Manager)
The manager raised a whip he was holding and drew near, but Hifumi raised a hand to stop him.

The brunette seems to be called Kasha.

Though currently, the satisfaction of depriving people of their lives suppressed his desires….

「 Kasha, is it. You use both hands to wield a saber. In addition, you can wield swords in both hands at the same time. 」

「 Generally, I can understand the rough ability from the muscle movements of your palm, forefinger and thumb. 」(TN: Huh? How?)

「 Certainly, this Kasha uses swords in both hands, her ability as an adventurer is quite good. Origa worked alongside Kasha, her magical ability is quite high. Both of them have become Debt slaves due to a large sum of money. 」

Origa and Kasha listened with unpleasant expressions.

Adventurer, huh…. Perhaps such an occupation exists in fantasy novels, forming parties whose task is subjugation and collection of demons and monsters. But in this world, what kind of  occupation is this?

「 Okay. Now you two decide. 」

「 I plan to travel in the future. Physical strength is necessary, fights are very likely. If you can follow without betraying me, I promise a fun life. 」

「 I will follow. 」
Origa answered Hifumi in a low voice. Her emerald green eyes stared firmly at him. A little frightened, her eyes shook with tears.

Man, I’ve been scaring women since I came here.

Turning a blind eye to his faults, he wondered (What should I do about Kasha?)

Kasha trembled.

Why is Origa following this fellow?

Though he is smiling, her spine freezes.

However, Kasha had no choice when it came to Origa.

Kasha said, clapping her hands together towards Hifumi.
「 It is decided! 」(Manager)

Though Hifumi did not quite understand the mechanism of the tattoo, he smeared some blood on the tattoos on Origa and Kasha’s shoulders, completing the contract.

Paying the full amount in cash surprised the manager, Origa et al, but it was more surprising that the customer was a user of the rare Dark magic.

At first, the manager was trying to analyse Hifumi, but now treated him like a guest of honour, as evidenced by the tea and sweets in the drawing room.

「 This was good business. By all means, please visit our sho again when more slaves are needed. 」

Wrapping the sweets in a cloth, Hifumi left the shop with his slaves.

Greeted by the hustle an bustle of the city, Hifumi looked up at the sun. If morning and night were the same in this world, it would be noon.

Time flew during his morning practice, and he had only eaten a snack at the stall. He wanted a proper meal.

「 In that case, there is a good store where I went a little…. There it is. 」

「 It is not necessary to force yourself to use honorifics. 」

Though he has an arrogant and self-centred standard that inconveniences others, he is kind to his family. If someone is not an enemy, he treats them humanely.

Neither Origa nor Kasha understood what he said, he continued,

「 I am being chased by this kingdom’s royalty, we need to leave. 」

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